Chubu Electric Power Co Inc, a Japanese utility, announced plans to acquire a 30% stake in the 760-MW Ecowende offshore wind project in the Netherlands, developed by a joint venture between Shell Plc (SHEL.L) and Dutch utility Eneco. The acquisition involves purchasing the stake from Eneco, reducing Eneco's current 40% share in the joint venture to 10%. The transaction is anticipated to conclude in the second quarter of 2024.
Hiroki Sato, Senior Managing Executive Officer and CEO of Chubu's Global Business division, explained the strategic importance of this move for Chubu, stating, “The main concept of this Project is Ecological Innovation. [Chubu] believes that this concept will become mainstream globally in the near future, including Japan and Asia.” This investment marks Chubu's inaugural direct participation in an offshore wind farm, reflecting its commitment to gaining insights into offshore wind farm development and ecological innovation.
Eneco CEO As Tempelman highlighted the benefits of the divestment, stating that the proceeds would enable Eneco to make new investments in renewable energy assets as part of its One Planet Plan.
The Ecowende project, also known as Hollandse Kust West VI, is expected to begin operations in 2026, with Vestas supplying the turbines. The joint venture has already secured power purchase agreements, including commitments from Google.
This collaboration underscores the broader trend of global utilities and energy companies increasing their investments in offshore wind projects, aligning with renewable energy goals and responding to the rising demand for clean energy solutions.